Thursday, April 30, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: Our final (optional) prompt! In some past years, I’ve challenged you to write a poem of farewell for our thirtieth day, but this year, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something that returns. For, just as the swallows come back to Capistrano each year, NaPoWriMo will ride again!


After an unfortunate haircut 
I took solace in realizing 
My hair would return. 
And there is comfort in knowing 
The months of snow will go, 
The days of will rain end, 
The mud will dry, 
The screeching birds 
Outside my window 
When I want to sleep 
Will finally take a break. 
What if, like my Barbie’s hair, 
They didn’t come back?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: Write a paean to the stalwart hero of your household: your pet. Sing high your praises and tell the tale of Kitty McFluffleface’s ascension of Mt. Couch. Let us hear how your intrepid doggo bravely answers the call to adventure whenever the leash jingles.

Bingo the black and white collie 
Could smile with a grin that was jolly. 
When there wasn’t a herd 
He’d round up the birds. 
When they flew off he’d laugh at his folly. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: Today’s (optional) prompt is brought to us by the Emily Dickinson Museum. First, read this brief reminiscence:  Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s description of her aunt Emily’s cozy room, scented with hyacinths and a crackling stove, warmly recalls the setting decades later. Describe a bedroom from your past in a series of descriptive paragraphs or a poem. 

The Best Bedroom Ever

A tent on a sandy beach 
Of the Salmon River. 
Resting on cots. 
No need for covers. 
Night so warm, 
Rain fly is open. 
Screen keeps out bugs 
But lets in the stars. 
A breath of sage 
And evergreen 
Floats on the dark. 
Far from all sound 
But the grumble 
Of rolling water. 
A vision of the day 
Still sighs through the mind. 

Monday, April 27, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: Write a poem in the form of a review. But not a review of a book or a movie of a restaurant. Instead, I challenge you to write a poetic review of something that isn’t normally reviewed. For example, your mother-in-law, the moon, or the year 2020.

Aunt Ellen’s Carrot Cake 

She used carrots fresh from the garden. 
She would have scorned baby carrots. 
Aunt Ellen was my husband’s mother’s half-sister. 
She was an experienced cook from Blanding, Utah. 

Her Carrot Cake Recipe is a treasure. 
The simplicity of preparation, 
And the familiar ingredients, 
Put the creation of this fine dessert 
Within reach of even the inexperienced. 

Don’t reject the simple storyline
And the stained 3x5 card. 
The writing gets to the point without rambling. 
The addition of raisins and walnuts 
Was not an unexpected plot twist. 
In fact, they were necessary for the final result. 
Aunt Ellen’s Carrot cake will not disappoint. 
Five Stars. 

Spoiler Alert—The Actual Recipe copied from her own stained 3x5 card follows: 


In a large mixing bowl cream together: 
1 ½ cups shortening (part can be soft butter) 
2 cups white or brown sugar 
4 eggs, one at a time 
Peel and grate enough carrots to yield 3 cups 
Add and mix well. 

Sift together and add: 
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda 
2 teaspoons cinnamon. 
Stir in: 
1 cup chopped walnuts 
1 cup raisins 
Pour the batter into a greased and floured 13x9 baking pan 
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) 

Note: A cream cheese frosting is traditional but this cake is so rich and moist, it is not necessary.

Sunday, April 26, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: For this prompt, you will need to fill out, in five minutes or less, the following “Almanac Questionnaire.” Then, use your responses as to basis for a poem.

The Wendigo

Snowing. No, a blizzard 
Five days of blizzard. 
Earl has been gone for three. 
Went off through the evergreens 
Leaving me in this reeking cabin 
With a barrel of pinto beans, 
A hind quarter of frozen moose, 
A bag of dog food, 
And two sled dogs. 

My dreams of 
Being eaten alive by wolves 
Have returned. 
Seeing those huge tracks 
By the junk cars in town 
Didn’t help. 
I’m supposed to be 
Guarding our stash of beaver pelts. 
What a joke. 

The newspaper left by 
Crazy Harlan 
Was full of conspiracies 
About poison snow. 
And an escaped llama 
That shut down the Juneau Airport. 

After he took off for Fairbanks 
I saw he’d written “I wish I was Banksy” 
On our barn wall. 
Maybe he will send me a letter. 
"The weather is fine in Cancun." 
I’ll send him a postcard of a moose. 

So I sit here dressed in layers 
Of wool sweaters and fleece 
Listening to the howling wind 
Or howling wolves 
I can’t tell. 
It’s grim. 

I cheer myself up by remembering 
Playing in the river 
When I was a kid. 
Then I think about 
The Kraken. 
And then The Wendigo, 
The cannibal monster 
That lives in the north woods. 

And what if this whole world 
Is really just a snow globe. 
And the sky is a glass dome 
And someone is getting ready 
To drop and break it?